News24

Liverpool hint at Anfield exit

2011-07-10 18:52

London - Liverpool paved the way for a move away from their Anfield stadium on Sunday, when they released a statement saying it was "increasingly unlikely" they could refurbish their home of 119 year.

Anfield currently holds around 45 000 fans, significantly less than the stadiums of rivals Manchester United and Arsenal.

The club's owners want to increase the capacity to more than 60 000, but have yet to decide whether to redevelop their current ground or to move to a new stadium on nearby Stanley Park.

Principal owner John Henry, who successfully redeveloped Fenway Park as owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, expressed a preference to remain at Anfield on his Twitter account last week.

But in a statement on the club website (www.liverpoolfc.tv), managing director Ian Ayre said logistical and geographical issues could thwart their ambitions to stay put.

"It looks increasingly unlikely there is any way we can move forward on a refurbishment of Anfield unless there are significant changes in those areas," he said.

Ayre explained that a redevelopment of their current stadium would cost significantly less while delivering roughly the same amount of revenue as a new arena.

"It's disappointing that based on where we are at the moment, we seem to be unable to press on with the more viable economic option of a refurbishment, but we remain committed to finding the best possible long-term solution," Ayre added in the statement.

The ability to find a naming rights partner could have a significant bearing on the final decision.

Ayre has previously ruled out renaming Anfield but said the club are in dialogue with several brands about the naming rights to any proposed new stadium.

Several Premier League clubs have already used their stadium names to generate revenue. Manchester City announced a hugely lucrative deal with Etihad Airways on Friday, reportedly worth 150 million pounds over 10 years.

Reuters

Comments
  • devils_advo - 2011-07-10 19:53

    The crap thing with naming rights is that teams like Man City now play at a stadium that in English means United... Bit of a stupid one if you ask me...

  • JDog - 2011-07-11 08:18

    i hope they do0nt move and i hope the name stays as anfield :( this story makes me depressed

      thundyr - 2011-07-11 10:01

      Then you must be happy that Anfield is at least 15000 capacity short of its Champions' League rivals. No one wants to lose Anfield, but the city of Liverpool has demands as well, and ultimately the city and the people living there are bigger than the club. Moving will allow naming rights to provide a significant income stream that the stadium currently will not use (FSG have said they will not sell the name if they stay at Anfield). Arsenal are stronger for leaving Highbury, though it is true that they do not have our history. The question remains: are we living in the past, or growing towards the future? Cos we've been living in the past for 21 years, and perhaps leaving Anfield is best for everyone involved with LFC.

      Shankly - 2011-07-13 08:23

      Arsenal have not won a thing after moving to Emirates. Arsene was also quite inhibited budget wise until last year when their loan debts to finance the stadium were paid up. I feel we'll lose a bit of our soul if we move. Imagine the stadium is called Coke Park, or Carlsberg Stadium. How plastic is that? We'd be no better than the Chavs Chelsea and Man City. Anfield might be small, but it is one of the most well known, feared and respected Cathedrals in world football.

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